Terrorism and social media

Tashfeen Malik, one of the suspects in last week's terror attacks in San Bernardino, pledged her allegiance to ISIS on Facebook just before the shootings. Now there are new questions about what social networking companies could and should be doing to police for terrorism-related content.

In his address to the nation, President Obama said he will push the companies to do more.

"I will urge high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice," Obama said.

Michael S. Smith is a counterterrorism advisor to congress and CEO and co-founder of Kronos Advisory.

"Social media companies in particular should be doing a lot more in terms of aggressive responses to the abuses of their technologies to help the Islamic State advance its agenda," Smith said.

The three major social media companies -- Facebook, Twitter and Google's YouTube -- prohibit the posting of excessively violent content. Facebook says it will remove any content that praises and supports terrorism.

YouTube relies on its users to flag offensive content, but has also enlisted a group of so called "trusted flaggers," which include government agencies, private organizations and individuals, who flag videos in bulk. But terrorists and their sympathizers continue to find workarounds.

"Other than taking down content, I think it's a game of whack-a-mole," said Mark Spoonauer, Editor-in-Chief of Tom's Guide. "You have on Facebook alone 1.5 billion users and it's really hard to monitor all that content."

Smith says where the tech companies fail, citizen watchdog groups are coming through. Groups like Ghost Security Group and Anonymous which patrol social media for signs of terrorism connections and get those accounts taken down.

Smith, who works as a liaison between some of the online organizations and government agencies explains, "These are individuals who basically live online and they can develop a sort of capacity to not only infiltrate Islamic State social media networks but also to gather information from monitoring the networks that they're unable to penetrate."